As I continue to share my life story with you I am struck by the contrast in my life now from back when I was slowly unraveling. I have learned that in my transparencies I no longer have to paint a pretty picture of my perfect life and what a relief that is!! We all have a story. We all learn from our choices and the consequences of those choices. As we open our lives for others to see, the possibilities are endless in actually reaching and changing the lives of others. I welcome your comments.
I gradually found myself moving back into the old comfort zones of busy ministries. Even though I was profoundly changed by this time by the life changing revelation of my victimization, I had no idea where I was now heading. A new pastor came into our church. While the church was in the interim between pastors I filled in with leading the congregation in worship. But my main focus now was the support groups. My home life was worse than ever. The financial stress and the emotional stress of finding out our daughter had been molested by both grandfathers had put a final nail in the coffin of our marriage. When the incest issues came out it was more than our marriage could bear.
My husband’s father totally denied that anything inappropriate happened between him and Heather. Unable to deal with a breach with his father my husband chose to deny anything had actually happened at all, which, hurt Heather. I think this new insecurity of a possible breach with his father prompted his next move. At first he came up with the idea that after 25 years of marriage he needed to move home to his parents and get a job and commute back and forth to our home. His parents lived 3 hours away. Being in the beginning throes of burn out from everything that had happened and exhausted from keeping up my front of denial, I enthusiastically agreed that it would be for the best. My energy was quickly being depleted by trying to keep everything up to my standards. I was still working my outside job and had some security in that. In addition to everything else going on I didn’t have the energy to take care of him too. So, true to my skill of making it all look great and exciting, we told everyone he was going to commute and come home on week ends and it would work out just fine. The kids, who were teenagers by then, were reeling in shock from what was happening to their home. But I convinced myself that it would be just fine. In reality, how could I deal with their hurt too?
The same pattern of dysfunctions in being able to keep a job for very long began again in my husband’s new home away from home. He was unable for various reasons to find and keep a job for any length of time. He needed to be cared for and soon found someone else to care-take him since I was not willing to do it anymore without the aid of marriage counseling. He declined the counseling I suggested for us and soon I received my walking papers from him. Everyone was shocked, including my children. I had put up such a good front. The payoff for all those years of walking in denial resulted with the demise of our marriage and the immense pain it caused my children. I was just as much at fault because I had become addicted to ministry and ignored the problems. And I had co-depended him in all respects. Ministry had replaced him in my life, and, even worse, ministry as I understood it took precedence over God in my life. All kinds of thoughts ran through my head. How could I deal with this? Divorce wasn’t of God, so where did I go wrong? I taught in my many classes that divorce is totally unacceptable to God. It was embarrassing and devastating, not to mention destructive to my precious children! How did my life get so out of control? What would people think? I had no control over anything. I couldn’t even paint a better picture for others to see by this time. I still wasn’t at my bottom yet, however. There was more to come.
Coming next: Chapter 12: The Unraveling